Organizers of Sunday’s free memorial for Minnesota blues/folk legend Tony Glover at the Cedar Cultural Center can rest easy knowing the passionate aficionado would’ve approved of the music selected for the event. That’s because Glover essentially chose it himself before his death from natural causes at age 79 on May 29.
KFAI DJ, neighbor and friend Pete Lee said Glover told him several years ago which two songs he wanted played at his funeral: “Juke” by Little Walter and “Mighty Long Time” by Sonny Boy Williamson, one each from the two blues harmonica pioneers that the younger harp blower touted throughout his own career. He brought up those songs again to Lee after fellow West Bank music scene vet Willie Murphy died in January.
“He was really shaken up by that,” Lee said, “and it was after Murph's memorial that he asked me if I'd put together his.”
Sunday’s tribute will also feature short performances by Spider John Koerner (the lone survivor of their influential ‘60s trio Koerner, Ray & Glover) and Charlie Parr, whom Lee said was “a particular favorite modern-day performer of Tony's.” Among the planned speakers are Tony’s brother Gary Glover, a professor of radiology at Stanford University -- expertise apparently runs in the family -- and Treehouse Records store owner Mark Trehus, who produced some of the post-KR&G albums by Dave Ray and Glover that helped revive their career.
“Tony’s influence on my life is immeasurable,” Trehus said.